• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and evaluate the different perspectives on strategy formation.

Extracts from this document...


1 (a) Outline and evaluate the different perspectives on strategy formation. In the post war years business strategy has been at the forefront of the ethos behind many companies. Business strategy has now been thoroughly analysed and researched and many different models and beliefs have emerged. There are now many 'ready made' strategies for companies to draw on. From the rigid approach of Michael Porter, through a less rational and so called 'softer' approach of, for example, Mintzberg and on to a 'postmodernist' view of strategy by, for example Volberda. Richard Whittington (2001) clearly outlines four generic perspectives on strategy into which the prominent strategies of the last fifty years can be categorised. These are: * Classical * Processual * Evolutionary * Systemic Whittington cites that the classical approach is highly rational. Seeing a company as a pyramid structure and commands coming from the top and leading the bottom. 'For Classicists, profitability is the supreme goal of business and rational planning the means to achieve it' (Whittington 2001 p. 11). On the surface, a rational and clear strategy leading from the top appears to be an efficient way to run a business. There is a clear and defined (Porterian) strategy and everyone has a place within this structure and knows exactly what it is and what is expected of them. I would argue, though, that if we look below the surface or look at any company structure, we would be hard pressed to find an example where this rigid and firm approach is actually used to full effect in reality. The main argument for this is that far from the rational model presented to us by the classicist approach, companies, industry and indeed the humans who work within them are far from rational. The classicist approach involves long term goals, often heavily financed. The companies who may employ this approach are putting much store into one inflexible way of gaining the competitive advantage. ...read more.


This quote would suggest that if there were to be integration or a contribution made to the strategy process, then the organisations strategy would have to be a classical one. I would argue though, not to the strategy formation process. If an organisation has a set, clear strategy with long term goals, then it will be far easier for a personnel specialist to formulate their own strategies to fit in or integrate with this. For example, if we take an established organisation, which has a firm, rigid and clear strategy, the personnel specialist can mould its recruitment policies to fit and compliment this. So some of the practical contributions a personnel specialist could make to a classical ('fits' with Legge's normative model (1995 p.3) of personnel management) strategy would be as follows, * Manpower planning, if the organisation has long term goals then this would include forecasting staffing levels for the future * Recruitment and selection, the organisation may have planned exactly the sort (education level & personality) of individuals it wishes to recruit * Training and development, in order to fulfil the long term goals the training budget would be targeted at specific areas of the business * Reward and recognition, again to reward those achieving the set targets This very rational and clear approach could be see to be over simplistic, indeed as Sisson's (cited in Legge 1995 p.118) research showed ' 84 per cent of head office managers claimed that their company had an overall philosophy about employee management.' From this quote we could be led to believe that the personnel function is succeeding in contributing significantly to the strategy process, however, Sisson's study went on to say (Legge 1995 p.119) 'the general weight of evidence could seem to confirm that most UK owned enterprises remain pragmatic or opportunistic in their approach.' This reiterates the unrealistic nature of the classical approach and also suggests that even if the personnel specialist has formulated a personnel strategy, line managers, to suit the immediate needs of the business, will manipulate it. ...read more.


I propose the following enhancements to HR activities that will facilitate a greater contribution to strategy formation. HR makes vision a reality. There are four critical points to consider: 1. HR must be effective and capable, aligned to what the company wants to achieve. Capabilities such as skills, leadership and management to deliver the companies strategic goals. 2. Effectiveness of people. We should aim to gain 20% more from employees than other companies do. This includes motivating people to deliver more. Work on the cultural values of the company; instil a performance culture with individuals rewarded accordingly. Make this 'a good place to work'. New ideas scheme to capture ideas and share best practice. 3. Agility, the market moves very quickly. Greater clarity of job change management. Performance management and strong learning culture all focussed on long tem goals. 4. Internal HR objective, aim to achieve benchmark levels of HR. Measure the effectiveness of this. Invest in a self-service portal to facilitate self-management. Setting and managing policy. I propose 7 programmes over 12 months. 1. Project 2002. Managing the downturn in demand. Namely, managing people out of the company and 'rightsizing'. This is largely to be implemented through a massive programme of voluntary redundancy. 2. Performance management. Ensuring that appraisals are regular, thorough and valuable. In order to align people to the attainment of goals. 3. Review of the organisation 4. Leadership development 5. Outsourcing project to ensure that relevant function are outsourced to a service partner 6. Online learning - Company X 'college' 7. Performance measurement and metrics. Based on targets. Share ownership scheme (used to allocate free shares to all) will now allocate to all staff, only if specific targets are met. All members of staff at all levels will be responsible for their own learning and development although this is to be facilitated by line managers. It is also important that all levels of staff understand that they are vital for the success of the company. This is underpinned with the allocation of free shares only if targets are met (sharing in success). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE People in Business section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE People in Business essays

  1. Tesco's different stakeholders are:Employees

    This can benefit the community by keeping them fit and giving them a hobby and also keeping them happy with the fact that the stores opening hours will be increasing. Shareholders and Employees The shareholders and the employees also have a disagreement about the extended opening hours Tesco wants to have.

  2. The classical perspective of management

    there are regulations with regards to the appearance of staff, to the cleanliness of the offices and there are also specific rules which managers must follow, and policy books are issued and expected to be used. There is a clear division of labour within U.P.S., each plant contains specialised workers e.g.

  1. Report: Type of ownership of J-Sainsbury

    and manufacturers, develop many new types of food products - Sainsbury's alone launches approximately 1,000 every year! The marketing team plans a strategy for informing customers about the new product that is about to be launched. They will work with many other areas of Sainsbury's to gather information about the

  2. Analyze and evaluate the strategic decisions made by Marks and Spencer (M&S) in different ...

    to almost 100 percent Asian suppliers * Actions to improve the brand recognition of M&S, such as downgrading St Michael brand * Customer-focused orientation. He changed the supply chain. Stores were compared and categorized according to their customers' characteristics. * Efforts to raise the company's awareness externally.

  1. Produce a case study comparing two business organisations, investigating the extent to which each ...

    of their websites and the enormous benefits and additional services which customers using them can receive. Another drawback of the project is that at the moment it is highly theoretical and they can only base their conclusions on whether or not they feel that the website meets the needs of

  2. Stakeholders - review of Richer Sounds.

    Gemma Baker This is Gemma first ever job and she has stayed with the company for 5 years. She started this job just after she finished her college for a colleague support assistant. Her role was to provide staff cover and control store rotas on daily basis.

  1. Analysis of a Contract Specific Organisation

    Every job carried out will be personally supervised by DJ to ensure compliance with legislation (CDM Regulations), which includes routine and final inspections to verify compliance with the technical specification. Any adjustments to specification, changes, deletions and /or additions will be negotiated with the relevant contractor using one of the


    * Obtains the best person for the job * Employees are the firm's most important asset * It is often difficult, costly and painful to get rid of people * An inappropriate appointment might undermine good employee relations * Labour turnover is costly Below is Sainsbury's selection process: Sainsbury's Selection

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work